Ahhh, the memories of Marvel Team-Up!

Michael May’s Adventureblog provides this fun meme-thing:

First, select ten fictional characters (from any medium) by whichever method you like best.

1. Diarmuid dan Ailell (from The Fionavar Tapestry)
2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
3. James Bond (the Lazenby, Dalton, or Daniel Craig incarnations)
4. Wonder Woman
5. Captain Malcolm Reynolds
6. Jehane bet Ishak (from The Lions of Al-Rassan)
7. Agent Dana Scully
8. Hermione Grainger
9. Lady Eowyn (from The Lord of the Rings)
10. Han Solo

Divide the list up by even and odd.

OK. Team One: Diarmuid Dan Ailell, James Bond, Mal Reynolds, Agent Scully, Lady Eowyn.

Team Two: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Wonder Woman, Jehane bet Ishak, Hermione Grainger, Han Solo.

Which group of five would make a better Five Man Band (like a Power Rangers team)? Who would you slot in each position: Leader, Lancer (second-in-command), Big Guy, Smart Guy, The Chick?

Hmmmm! I’m guessing Team Two.

Leader: Obi Wan Kenobi
Lancer: Wonder Woman
Big Guy: Han Solo
Smart Guy (girl, in this case): Hermione Grainger
The Chick: Jehane bet Ishak

Just for the sake of completeness, here’s how Team One would break out:

Leader: Mal Reynolds
Lancer: James Bond
Big Guy: Diarmuid Dan Ailell
Smart Guy (also a woman in this case): Agent Scully
The Chick: Lady Eowyn.

The roles in Team One would be a lot more fluid, I suspect; while Diarmuid is often portrayed as a fun-loving rogue, whenever the chips are down in those books, the guy rises to the occasion and provides some serious leadership. Bond also tends to be a loner a lot of the time, so he’d probably switch in and out of the lancer role, maybe even taking three roles at times (Big Guy and Smart Guy). Lady Eowyn’s also got some strength and leadership skills, and of course Agent Scully is no pushover either. Team Chemistry would be a problem here, I think; a lot of strong-willed people would end up butting heads.

If you think the team would be improved by swapping one character between the even and odd groups, which ones would you switch?

I don’t think I’d switch anyone. Team Two seems pretty strong, in my mind, and any trade into Team One wouldn’t reduce the problems noted above. So no trades; these are the teams.

Gender-swap 2, 8 & 10. Which character would have the most change in their story arc? Which the least? Would any of these characters have to have a complete personality change to be believable as the opposite sex?

OK: Obi Wan Kenobi becomes a woman, Hermione Grainger becomes a man, and Han Solo becomes a woman. Hmmmmm.

I suspect that Obi Wan could have been made a woman with almost no trouble at all. Hermione probably wouldn’t have been believable in the slightest as a boy/man; since the whole dynamic of the Potterverse is set by the trio of heroes being two boys and a girl, I don’t think three boys would work at all, so there would have to be a girl, which in turn would lead to Ron being a woman. Or something like that.

And Han Solo as a woman? That would make his (her) relationship with Leia fairly interesting, would it not? However, aside from that love triangle, I’m not sure this would really impact the story in a very large way. Nothing in Star Wars makes a female analogue of Han Solo unthinkable.

Compare the matchups of 1 & 8 and 5 & 9. (Ignore canon sexual preferences for the moment.) Which couple would be more compatible?

1 and 8: Diarmuid dan Ailell and Hermione Grainger? The Hermione of the actual Potter books wouldn’t even be a blip on Diarmuid’s radar, since he’s a fairly sexual adult and she’s just a kid, finding her way. Now, an adult Hermione might well catch his eye, as he is clearly attracted to strong-willed, brave, and intelligent women.

5 and 9: Captain Mal Reynolds and Lady Eowyn? Eowyn’s all about duty and her country, while Mal’s all about freedom. I can’t see them being compatible at all.

Which couple would be more plausible to people from either principal’s home culture?

Definitely Diarmuid/Hermione. They both come from worlds of magic and myth. A space traveler in Edoras? Not happening. On a genre mash-up basis, that couple’s a total non-starter.

Your team is 3, 4 & 9. The mission consists of a social challenge, a mental challenge and a physical challenge. Which team member do you assign to each challenge?

Bond, Wonder Woman, and Lady Eowyn. Well, obviously Wonder Woman gets the physical challenge, just because she’s got some super strength. (Which isn’t to say that’s the only kind of task she’d be good for. We’re limiting to just the focus of this question.)

Bond would get the mental challenge, I think. In the best of all Bond stories, he has to do a lot of figuring stuff out.

Which leaves the “social challenge” to Lady Eowyn. Now, I’m not entirely sure what a “social challenge” actually is, but her role in the books is at least partially social, a leadership role, so that’s what she would get here. I think.

7 becomes 1’s boss for a week in some plausible fashion. How’s their working relationship?

Agent Scully as Diarmuid dan Ailell’s boss? That’s an odd picture, I must say! Scully would find their working relationship frustrating, I suspect, although his sardonic nature might well mirror her partner Agent Mulder’s, albeit with more overt humor and wit. For his part, Diarmuid would do what he’s told, since underneath his sardonic exterior beats the heart of a man who takes duty very seriously. In fact, not only would Diar do his duty, but he’d have killed anyone who refused or balked at doing theirs!

2 finds him/her/itself inserted into 6’s continuity. As far as anyone other than 2 or 6 is concerned, they’ve always been there. What role would 2 be presumed to have had in 6’s story, and could they fit in without going wonky?

So we’d have Obi Wan Kenobi in The Lions of Al-Rassan? Well, if he actually had a lightsaber, he’d stand out like Manute Bol in the land of the Munchkins. However, there is certainly room in that mythos for a band of monastic knights a la the Jedi — especially if we expand Jehane’s “continuity” to include the other novels set in that same physical world, The Sarantine Mosaic and The Last Light of the Sun.

3 and 5 get three wishes. The catch is that they have to agree on all three wishes before they get the benefits of any of them. What three wishes would they make?

James Bond and Mal Reynolds? Agreeing on wishes? Again, this one’s tough because of the genre mashup — spy thriller meets space opera/western. So what would they wish for together? Crikey, that’s hard. Personally, I’d expect that they’d sit down and play three games of cards, one wish going to the winner of each game.

1 and 2 are brainwashed by a one-time artifact that works even on people immune to mind control to attack and kill 4. They keep their normal personality, skills and competence level, except any Code vs. Killing has been turned off. Can 4 survive? How?

Diarmuid and Obi Wan have to go after Wonder Woman. If they could somehow part her from her Lasso of Truth, they just might be able to pull it off. Diarmuid would have to accept this as a suicide mission, and Obi Wan’s powers would be severely tested. However, if Wonder Woman has the Lasso with her, Diar and Obi Wan are screwed. If she ropes them with the Lasso of Truth, that might cause the effect of the brainwashing to wear off!

6, 7, 9 & 10 must help an orphanage full of small and depressed children have a merry Christmas. Who does what, knowing that at the very least the kids will be expecting a visit from Santa?

Jehane, Agent Scully, Lady Eowyn, and Han Solo? I guess the ladies would do the shopping and set-up, and then they’d force Han to put on the Santa costume.

3 and 8 are challenged to circumnavigate the Earth in eighty days or less, using only forms of transportation invented before 1900. Can they do it, or will they be fatally distracted by sidequests or their own personality conflicts?

James Bond and Hermione Grainger? Yeah, they’d probably do it; I’m sure Hermione’s read books on the operation of hot-air balloons and sailing vessels, and James Bond can operate any vehicle at all. As for personality conflicts, I suspect they’d get along fine, unless again we’re talking about adult Hermione, who might then find herself in bed with Mr. Bond.

And I guess that’s it! Fun quiz. No tagging.

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